Annoying octal notation

Erik Max Francis max at alcyone.com
Tue Aug 25 05:20:21 CEST 2009


Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> On Mon, 24 Aug 2009 09:14:25 -0500, Derek Martin wrote:
> 
>> Assuming I'm right about that, then the use of a leading 0 to represent
>> octal actually predates the prevalence of using 0 in dates by almost two
>> decades.  And while using leading zeros in other contexts is "familiar"
>> to me, I would certainly not consider it "common" by any means.  Thus I
>> think it's fair to say that when this syntax was selected, it was a
>> rather good choice.
> 
> Except of course to anyone familiar with mathematics in the last, oh, 
> five hundred years or so. Mathematics has used a positional system for 
> numbers for centuries now: leading zeroes have been insignificant, just 
> like trailing zeroes after the decimal point:
> 
> 9 = 09 = 009 = 9.0 = 9.00 = 0009.000 etc.

Trailing zeroes are quite important when you're indicating the 
significance of a figure.  9 is not the same as 9.0 or 9.000.

-- 
Erik Max Francis && max at alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
  San Jose, CA, USA && 37 18 N 121 57 W && AIM/Y!M/Skype erikmaxfrancis
   If the sky should fall, hold up your hands.
    -- (a Spanish proverb)



More information about the Python-list mailing list